Google Horoscopes?

Google may be the dominant search engine and aggressively pushing into new areas all the time, but it remains true to its core values, including its do no evil mantra, according to its corporate philosophy mission statement. As Google grows what does change is the message that it is only a search engine.

Google has quietly modified its "Our Philosophy" Web page to reflect its expanding portfolio of services, an observant Slashdot poster has noticed. Under the "Ten Things Google has found to be true" section, No. 2 entitled "It's best to do one thing really, really well," used to say that "Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat."

Now, that wording is gone and additional information has been added, including a footnote that says: "Full-disclosure update: When we first wrote these '10 things' four years ago, we included the phrase 'Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.' Over time, we've expanded our view of the range of services we can offer--Web search, for instance, isn't the only way for people to access or use information--and products that then seemed unlikely are now key aspects of our portfolio. This doesn't mean we've changed our core mission; just that the farther we travel toward achieving it, the more those blurry objects on the horizon come into sharper focus (to be replaced, of course, by more blurry objects)."

This comes on the heels of Google launching a beta version of Google Talk, an instant messenger application that allows text chat and voice connections through the computer.

I asked Google whether they would start offering horoscopes, and what my lucky number for the day is, and they declined to comment. (Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story.)

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About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.


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